Logged onto the computer today and finished registering the rats we will be bringing to the show. I am excited to show the 2016 Winter All Science Litter Girls! We are thinking of bringing the 2016 Summer Perfectly P Litter Boys and 2016 Winter Astronomy Litter Boy. At the show we are getting a boy from Kobold Rattery – we have already named him Kobold’s The Doctor. (All of his future litters will be Sci-Fi themed) We will also show him at the show. The owner of the rattery is going to clean him up and clip his nails for me! They have another litter I want a boy from but they won’t be old enough until the week AFTER the show. We cannot risk the health of younger babies at a show so we will just have to wait. I was hoping The Doctor would have a buddy for quarantine after the show. They are 5 hours away and I just can’t do the long drive twice in a week. I must keep my eyes out for another boy, if not, The Doctor will just have to get extra snuggles from me for the 21 days of quarantine after the show. Now we are all officially in quarantine before the show. NO rats in, NO rats out until the show (21 days).
I just now finished making travel totes for the rats. I decided having them in a tote will limit their exposure to cold, virus, and extra stress than if they were in a cage. Great directions are on Kobold Rattery’s fb page to make these. Supplies all came to about $11 each. (They still need extra clips in corners to keep them from pulling out and escaping)
I have pulled out the show boxes for the ratties and will take turns putting them in the boxes and taking them out to get used to the boxes. I will do this 2-3 times before the show, with the goal of them falling asleep in the box and eating a treat in the box. No stress on show day since the boxes will now be the ‘safe treat box’.
I have been looking at all our show supplies making sure we have enough hammocks and toys. Looks like we will be making a few more toys for the show. I have a great idea to make a papier-mâché treat hanger. Hopefully I can find the time in the next couple weeks. We also have a litter due next week; we always send a hammock home with our babies and must make more. Now is time to get off and tie some knots for double hammocks.
OOPS! I just realized I didn’t correctly register The Doctor to show. Thank goodness his rattery has him listed as a baby so they can at least bring him to sell. I did make sure they knew one less set of nails they had to trim. Right after I contacted them, they had posted on fb a beautiful Dumbo Black Berkshire boy. His dad won’ Best in Show last year! They sent me a video of his temperament and right there I dubbed him Kobold’s Onyx (His future litters will be rock and gemstone themes). I cannot wait to get both boys home!
Our quarantine is complete! My husband did a wonderful job converting our kids old two story fort/sandbox into a chicken run downstairs and an insulated upstairs ‘retreat’ where we can relax and read in the summer. It is so nice knowing that the ratties will not have to quarantine off site. All week I have been checking the thermostat to make sure it doesn’t go below 60*. I have set up our DCN in there. It is ready for the rats after the show. All the rats we are planning on taking, have fallen asleep in show boxes and are very comfortable to be taken out except Pollywog (Inertia escaped one time, the small lid had a broken tab, good thing I checked BEFORE THE SHOW! Could you imagine our class clown running all over the venue?!?!)
Bath time complete! All of the rats smell divine. OCRA Pongo had a real dirty tail. It is also what the judges call scaly. I have added a bit of coconut oil to the tail to encourage him to clean it a bit more. I should have started cleaning it two weeks ago, if I kept scrubbing it today it seriously would have stressed him out.
I am going to wait to trim nails until tomorrow. Last time I trimmed on Thursday they all ‘filed’ them to sharp points by the show.
I am asking myself WHERE DID THE TIME GO?? I am sitting here looking at all the ratties I bathed yesterday trying to decide who all is going to go. 8 were registered but I think I may only take 4 or 5 girls leaving the boys here. Why leave these beauties at home? Well, each has their own reason for missing out on the show.
OCRA Galileo is our beautiful Havana Agouti. I was excited to show him but since we almost lost him to a terrible virus that hit our mischief last summer I decided I can’t take the chance. Granted the chance of exposure is low within our group of breeders that show. Members put the rats first and most do not focus just on ribbons. Don’t get me wrong, ribbons are fun but our ratties are more important than a piece of fabric. Unfortunately, there is always the chance that a pet owner or someone coming in off the street, is coming from a pet store or even a home that has ill rats. With so many viruses that can be transmitted within 3 hours of exposure, it is a risk that I don’t want to take with Galileo.
We trimmed all the nails in under 30 minutes. Time to load up the car with the signs, totes and carrier for the boys we are bringing home. I will make up my mind in the morning about Miss Llyra.
All the girls are going and I am for sure leaving the boys. We have ‘rat phoned’ each one to make sure they have clear breathing. (This involves holding up the ratties to my ear to listen to their breathing and lung sounds. I also have a stethoscope. The sound healthy lungs make with a stethoscope kind of sounds like the wind blowing through trees) All sound great! They are NOW in the handmade tote munching on apples and grapes that I tossed in for moisture during travel and the show.
Time to load up! We need to run to the store on the way to get water bottles for the humans and a pair of baby nail clippers for right before they get shown. (Somehow last night I misplaced ours, I love the larger grip in the handle part and need them 'just in case' as I look at nails before placing in show box to be judged.)
Two rest stops for the humans, we have arrived in Seattle. We are now in line hoping to have a smooth check in. There is a bit of an ‘oops’ while we wait in line. There are a few babies that appear small. As I watch, it appears to me that the health check people have to go through a pretty big check list for each rat, looking at their coat, listening to their breathing and making sure they are overall really healthy to be shown or sold. I am relieve to see that they decide that the babies are too small to sell. Bringing rats that are too old or too young to a show compromises them in so many ways. (which is why this will be Miss Llyra's last show) They did a great job in handling such a tough situation. The breeder will still be showing her other rats and the babies will stay in their van in their carrier. (Good thing it is such a mild day in WA) Check in went well and we are off to set the table.
Table is all set up with the babies ready for the kitten portion of the show. So many people at this show already. It is going to be a great one!
There are vets that work with the CDC/ WA Health Department at the show with a table. With the Seoul Virus to the east it is really nice to have them confirm that there is not a lot of concern for the virus in the PNW. They handed out a handy flyer to breeders and pet owners. They also confirmed that if there is an outbreak in the future, breeders will have the choice for lifetime quarantine which many states are not allowing.
A new breeder to the show had not cut her rats nails yet. She came up and asked me to help. After doing several for her I was so glad we bought the baby clippers before we headed up north!
Kittens are done being judged. We heard the announcement OCRA Inertia won Best in Variety and Best is Section. OCRA Kismet won Best in Section. OCRA Velocity and OCRA Tesla still scored well but one was too hippy and the other had a head that was too big for a doe.
We entered OCRA Tesla for most laid back. I always found it impressive for a young baby to relax and lay on back but there was a big ol squishy boy that beat her out.
We also entered her and OCRA Kismet in the cutest kitten contest. OF course, Breakfast Bunch Rattery brought up their most ADORABLE little blue dwarf kitten – Jokingly I walked off as soon as we saw that cutie. Something about dwarf rats and their amazing big eyes melts my heart. Yup they won that one fair and square!
We also entered Tesla in the Costume Contest. We made a fun spider costume and drew spider webs on my daughter’s t-shirt. There were 4 of us entered (one small dog as a joke) we all got to take home a ribbon. I did get a chance to put Tesla on the floor to show others how silly she was walking in her spider costume. I know there is a video of it somewhere. I hope to soon be able to link to it!
The final portion is the People’s Choice. This one we entered Miss Llyra in. She at first tied with one other (applause and woops) At the clap-off she won. Yuppers, the most beautiful girl in our eyes.
We entered our big girl, OCRA Llyra in her last show. She didn’t do as well as she did a kitten, losing points for being so ‘round’ and her coat is not as consistent as a younger fawn. We didn’t think she would do well but am so glad we did bring her. The People’s Choice Ribbon is a fun little treat to have from her last show.
Show is officially over but a few more varieties still on the table to be judged. We came with 3 boxes full of toys, hammocks and fun rat themed stuff. Between what we offered for the raffles and sold at the show we are going home with 1. We saw so many old adopters and met new friends, found the cutest pin to buy. I am so glad we went and cannot wait until the next one.
We put the rats into the quarantine. I guess I took a bit too long out in quarantine. When I got back in to take a shower my girls used all the hot water! It is everything I can do to avoid peeking on the babies before bed but do not want to take any chances that we were exposed to something during the show.
Another show down in the books! We have now gone to five shows, taking ratties for two of them. It is really fun to show the rats but it is also really fun to just volunteer. We are not sure if we will bring rats to the next show in the fall but we will for sure be there to support and encourage everyone else! They need so many volunteers to help make the shows a success. If you ever have a chance to go to one, and be a part of a club I highly encourage you to volunteer. You will not only meet so many people that have the same type love for rats but you may just get to see one of those varieties that many can only see on the web. Besides what we have in our own mischief, we have now seen Velveteen, Harley, Harvel, Goldens, Siamese, Martens, Silvermane, Marble, Merle, Dwarf and even Manx!
I will be enjoying extra snuggles in quarantine for the next 3 weeks. We must change our clothes and shower every time we come back into the house from being out there or find 3 hours between visits with quarantine and our mischief inside. I must stay strong and keep this up. I cannot wait until the new boys get to meet the baby boys after quarantine.
Now that they have sat in our garage for 24 hours, we put up our rosettes. What a fun extra treat. The Girls Sorority seems a bit empty with mama in the nursery, and the five girls out in quarantine. Cannot wait until 21 days are over!!